Items tagged with Theft

What do you collect? Rare stamps? Falcons fans’ tears? How about classified national defense documents? Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Harold Thomas Martin III was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge that he purposely collected classified information regarding national defense. He faces twenty criminal accounts, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Rod J. Rosenstein, the United States attorney for Maryland, remarked, “The indictment alleges that for as long as two decades, Harold Martin flagrantly abused the trust placed in him by the government by stealing documents containing highly classified information.”Martin spent over twenty years hoarding... Read more...
An iPad prototype was among the loot taken in a house break-in robbery that took place in Cupertino earlier this month, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. The victim of the crime, a 20-year-old man, was also taken from the house, though he was fortunately released by the perpetrators less than a mile from the event scene. Along with the iPad the robbers also took other electronics, prescription drugs, and $7,500 in cash. Authorities have arrested two people, in connection with the theft, charging them with four felony counts, including kidnapping and first-degree robbery.  Both suspects had been arrested in connection with a similar offense that took place in Pleasanton,... Read more...
Out of all the things you carry on your person, a smartphone is likely to be the most valuable item, or at least one of them (a concealed weapon or a Rolex watch could trump your handheld). The high dollar value of any given smartphone is part of what makes them so attractive to thieves, hence why it's not all that shocking to discover that over a million smartphones are stolen each year in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC released a report (PDF) this week on the subject of smartphone theft, and in it, the government organization provides analysis based on data obtained from 21 police departments covering nearly 20 million people.... Read more...
Passwords, fingerprints, brain scanners, and drive encryption. All great things to have, and all are items that would keep prying eyes from digging too deep into whatever is on your laptop's hard drive. But what if those things weren't enough? What if you were extremely paranoid, and just couldn't think of owning a laptop without James Bond-level security options onboard? Enter SecureDrives SDSR -- a family of SSD drives that can actually self-destruct if you find yourself in a serious bind. The drives have a SIM card embedded onto them, and the worldwide roaming capabilities mean that the right text message to the right number will render the drive useless and impossible to salvage. There's... Read more...
Apple's iOS 7 already saw the introduction of Activation Lock, which was built to prevent stolen phones from being wiped, unlocked, sold elsewhere, and activated by a buyer who wasn't aware of the phone's illicit journey. But phone manufacturers are looking to take things a step further, and for good reason. Phone theft has become quite the problem in major cities, where these $800 devices are easily taken and then hawked online, often to buyers in foreign locales. To combat the surge of phone theft, Apple, AT&T, Google, Verizon Wireless, and Samsung have all said that they'll offer free antitheft software starting in 2015. CTIA, an industry trade group that represents mobile carriers, noted... Read more...
On any given day in the United States you will find a number of really, really terrible ideas being floated as smart decisions. Flying to Hawaii to give birth in the ocean surrounded by dolphins. A drunk man repeatedly directing traffic in midtown Manhattan. And, today, from the USA Intellectual Property Theft Commission, a 90 page report on the state of IP around the world, the dangers posed to American IP by the Internet, and one remarkable suggestion on how to fix the problem. Additionally, software can be written that will allow only authorized users to open files containing valuable information. If an unauthorized person accesses the information, a range of actions might then occur. For... Read more...
You probably wouldn't attempt walking down the street waving a handful of hundred-dollar bills around, yet when you think about it, that's exactly what every person does who owns a smartphone. Off contract, many smartphones cost upwards of $500, and that makes them attractive items to robbers who have grown tired of snatching purses. Try this statistic on for size. According to an AP report, almost half of all robberies in San Francisco so far in 2012 have been cell phone related, and most of those thefts occurred on busy transit lines, not in dark alleyways. Thieves look for opportune times to make their move, such as one crook who plucked a smartphone out of his victim's hands who was sitting... Read more...
In the latest example of crime not paying, a former Intel employee named Biswamohan Pani pleaded guilty this week on five charges of fraud stemming from his theft of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of design documents from the chipmaker. According to Bloomberg, Pani gave Intel his two weeks’ notice on May 29, 2008, and he retained his employee access to Intel data until June 11; however, he started at AMD on June 2. During that overlap, Pani helped himself to documents that Intel valued at $200-$400 million, presumably to further his career at AMD. Intel discovered and reported the theft quickly, and to AMD’s credit, the company apparently was not aware of Pani’s... Read more...
The impact of piracy on the music business has been studied in detail, but the relationship between illegal downloads and film revenue hasn't been explored to nearly the same degree. A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan and Wellesely College has examined the impact of BitTorrent on domestic and foreign ticket sales and come back with some interesting conclusions. The results of the study are being somewhat erroneously reported as "Piracy doesn't hurt the movie industry" but the truth is rather more nuanced. What the researchers found was that in the US, the drop-off in movie revenue from week to week for the period 2003-2006 remained consistent. In theory, the widespread... Read more...
And now, a message from the "Seriously, don't do this" department. Four Taiwanese engineers working for various Intel OEMs were arrested this week by China's Criminal Investigation Bureau for selling so-called "Engineering Samples" (ES) chips on Ebay and pocketing the proceeds. The police recovered 178 CPUs with an estimated worth of $82,590; the group has admitted to selling over 500 chips since 2009. ES chips are often popular among overclockers for their rumored ability to hit higher clock speeds. Ironically, this is decidedly hit-and-miss. Intel regularly ships ES processors out to reviewers, and while it's true that some of these chips turn out to overclock well, some of them don't. Since... Read more...
A federal court handed Barry Ardolf, a Minnesota resident initially accused of sending threatening emails to Vice President Joe Biden, a nearly twenty year prison sentence today based on multiple additional charges of identity theft, trafficking in child pornography, and generally being the kind of psychotic neighbor that only exists in horror films. In August 2008, Matt and Bethany Kostolnik moved in next door to Ardolf. The next day, their four-year-old son ran next door while in sight of the mother, who was occupied briefly with her 18 month-old child. Ardolf, who was also outside, brought the child home but allegedly kissed him on the lips while doing so. The Kostolnik's reported the incident... Read more...
You know what's even better than weird news? Weird news well-flavored with legal stupididy, that's what. Our saga today starts with a shipping oddity; specifically the fact that Overclockers.com forum member Dreadrok ordered a Core i7 920 from Newegg and received a completely fake processor. It's a good fake, too—if it weren't for a few misspellings on the outside of the box, we'd believe it was completely legit, particularly if we didn't take the time to scour the box looking for the telltales. This is a fake box, not a real one. You have 10 seconds to find the differences. Go!Dreadrok initially faced skepticism over the veracity of his claim so he put up a YouTube video that captures all the... Read more...
In the United States, discussions of copyright protection and infringement inevitably revolve around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Since it passed twelve years ago, the DMCA has become the weapon of choice for US companies seeking to fairly protect their property as well as institutions attempting to unfairly silence criticism by alleging infringement. For several years now, a draft treaty that would regulate copyright internationally has been making the rounds. ACTA—the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement—is meant to take the most draconian provisions of the DMCA, "improve" them, and apply them worldwide. New documents that have leaked from the treaty negotiations have shed... Read more...
For what feels like forever now, Kensington's iconic notebook lock slot has become a staple of the PC universe. Regardless of brand, model, size or price, it seems like this little slit finds its way onto practically each and every portable computer that hits store shelves. Now, at long last, Kensington itself is updating the standard, with a slimmer, stronger design aimed at providing higher physical security without compromise.The MicroSaver DS Keyed Ultra-Thin Notebook Lock is certainly a mouthful, but it promises to prevent against theft and protect valuable assets like never before. Of course, this introduction begs the question: "So, are those of us with the old lock slot now less secure?"... Read more...
Here lately, Asus has spent the bulk of its time pumping out all sorts of new GPUs. Today, however, it's going back to its roots -- and by that, we mean, back to the notebook arena. The outfit's P Series, which was just showcased at CeBIT in Germany last month, will soon be equipped with Intel's own Anti-Theft Technology in an effort to curb the growing theft of laptop computers. Not surprisingly, Asus is aiming this at businesses, business users and everyday consumers that tend to travel often. The Anti-theft PC Protection Technology provides users with the ability to send a "poison pill" remotely, rendering the notebook inoperable by comprehensively shutting it down. If and when the machine... Read more...
"The devil made me do it" used to be the ready-made excuse you could trot out when you got caught being naughty. Society's views on personal responsibility have changed quite a bit since the devil was listed on everybody's rap sheet as an accomplice. The modern version is playing "Grand Theft Auto made me do it."Last month, the trio – all aged between 15 and 16, and as such may not be named – allegedly firebombed three cars in North Fulton County, Georgia with homemade petrol bombs. Each weapon was made from a bottle filled with a lighter fluid, with a rag stuffed into the spout as a fuse.According to a report by local news service WSBTV, the trio were arrested by local police. When they were... Read more...
LifeLock, which is an ID theft protection service, but which has both been written about earlier in unflattering terms as well as sued by Experian, has been sued again, this time by a competitor. On Wednesday NAMESAFE sued LifeLock over search ads that it said were purchased by LifeLock, which used the NAMESAFE trademark yet directed users to LifeLock's web site. According to a press release issued by NameSafe on Friday, "We have discovered that LifeLock has been sponsoring advertisements on most major search engines including (among others) Google, Yahoo, Lycos, MSN, Dogpile, and AOL, that deceptively led consumers to Lifelock.com. Specifically, when you searched 'Namesafe.com' in any major... Read more...
It never ceases to amaze us when we hear stories of large organizations losing computers containing sensitive data of thousands of people.  In the case of the VA laptop theft, it looks like a class-action law suit is potentially in the works, and will seek to compensate users for the added stress of worrying about their credit and embarrassment.  In other words it isn't exactly the kind of additional burden that somebody suffering from post traumatic stress disorder needs to be dealing with.Considering the 26.5 million or so records that went missing, it certainly had an impact on a lot of former service members.  For those who missed the initial story, here is a quick recap:“A... Read more...
This could also be known as ID theft due to software misconfiguration.  This ID thief was using LimeWire to steal sensitive information from users' computers.  But the only way this could happen is if the user misconfigured the software to include directories with sensitive info in them. The scheme undertaken by 35-year-old Gregory Kopiloff worked something like this, according to the U.S. Department of Justice: He'd use identity information gleaned from those documents to open credit accounts over the Internet, buy goods over the Internet, ship them to various mailboxes in the Puget Sound area and resell the merchandise for about half its retail price. Investigators said his scheme had... Read more...
When will people learn?  If you have a laptop with sensitive data on it, you should encrypt it.  So many laptops or hard drives have been lost or stolen.  And here we go again. A laptop containing unencrypted personal data on current and former employees of the AT&T Corp. was stolen recently from the car of an employee of a professional services firm doing work for the company. That theft prompted the company to notify an unspecified number of individuals about the potential compromise of their Social Security numbers, names and other personal details. As is typical in these incidents, employees whose data may be compromised will be offered a year of free credit monitoring.  Also typically,... Read more...
We Just got word from Dell that the company is planning to offer a free subscription to a theft protection service to XPS owners... Sticky-fingered PC pilferers take note: Dell is the first notebook supplier to offer a complimentary one year subscription to theft protection service on select notebook computers. Notebook computers are venturing farther from home and office, and are facing a greater risk for theft. Whether it's a sleek and light ultraportable that's easy to carry everywhere or a power-house gaming notebook that makes the rounds at LAN parties, mobile users want to use their notebooks on the go. Now Dell customers in the U.S. can have more peace of mind, because all XPS notebook... Read more...